An opinion piece published by NBC News notes that Amazon has been having a rough month, with a lot of bad press resulting from its inability - or refusal - to address counterfeit and fake merchandise being sold on its platform.
On November 11, the Wall Street Journal said the company's website “increasingly resembles an unruly online flea market.” A day later Nike announced it would no longer sell products on Amazon. That same week the Washington Post, (owned by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos) also published a piece blasting Amazon.
The author of the NBC piece argues that Amazon is unlikely to alter its business practices and that change will only occur as a result of regulatory actions.
The article states that Amazon's habit of angering major corporations with access to lobbyists, "increases the odds that Washington finally will crack down. Bezos is already a target of President Donald Trump, and Bloomberg News reported in September that the Federal Trade Commission is considering an antitrust investigation."
However, the article also notes that this is not likely to happen soon and, given the often dangerous nature of fake and counterfeit goods, this means that consumers are subject to remaining in a precarious situation for the foreseeable future. In the aforementioned Wall Street Journal piece, the Journal states that it found 10,000+ items on Amazon’s US marketplace that had been “deemed unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labeled, lacked federally required warnings or are banned by federal regulators.”
These types of products put consumers at risk and the reality that Amazon does not prevent their sale is alarming. Further, the fact that regulators are yet to target Amazon for these practices means that consumers need to be educated on the dangers of fake goods. As anti-counterfeiting technology continues to evolve, consumers will be better able to protect themselves.